I only had one first place newspaper award before I moved to the Quad Cities. It was for a photograph I had taken of the ice-covered water tower by the Bishop Hill village hall. I stood across the street waiting for the volunteer firemen to get the ladder truck and themselves into position to spray water onto the eleven-ton icicle. Even though it was a sunny January day it was still cold enough to get chilled to the bone before they started working. They finally got the tower free of ice and I got my photo.
Winning for that photo was a surprise for me. I made sure to get photographic documentation, since I wouldn’t be able to keep the plaque. It still hangs in the lobby of the Galva News.
Getting recognition for my writing had to wait until moving to the Quad Cities and becoming more involved with the Midwest Writing Center by going to workshops, attending the annual June conference, and entering the MWC’s Iron Pen contests. All those helped to stretch the writing muscles.
Being chosen for the Outstanding Literary Artist Award at the MWC’s annual meeting was a great honor. There are so many talented and deserving writers and authors in our QC area I find it humbling to be so recognized.
The presentation itself was brief with no time to say anything. But I came prepared with the following remarks:
“This award is for anyone who has sat in the back row of a Midwest Writing Center workshop thinking:
Don’t ask me a question.
Don’t make me talk.
I have to write something?
To the back row I say—
STICK WITH IT!
Amazing things can happen.”